Four Rare United States Coins You Might Dream About Having In Your Collection

Face it, coin collecting is fun and can become addicting. It may start with just a casual look at your pocket change where you see something unusual, perhaps a steel penny or well-worn coin. "What is that?" you wonder. Perhaps you hit the internet to see if you can match up your newly found treasure. Then again, you may just take it to a coin grading service. Why not look here if you are interested?

1933 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle

Only a dozen or so 1933 Saint Gaudens Double Eagles, minted in gold, are thought to be in existence. The ones that did survive were hidden by their original owners or smuggled out of the mints that were tasked to melt them all down. President Franklin Roosevelt recalled all gold coins in the United States in 1933 at the height of the Depression. Most owners are still keeping them under wraps, but somehow one coin was discovered in 1992. The Secret Service didn't waste any time confiscating the coin, which in 1933 was worth $20. Somehow it made it to auction in 2002 and netted someone a cool seven million dollars.

The Silver Trime

Yes, the United States Mint came up with a three-cent coin, the silver trime, but that was back in the 1850s. It was smaller in size than a modern-day dime and was intended to conserve on the amount of silver used to produce coinage. The first-time versions were 75 percent silver and 25 percent copper but later on the composition changed to 90 percent silver with 10 percent copper. In use from 1851 to 1873, the coin went through three major variations. The trimes from 1863 through 1873 have the most value, with the proofs of the 1873 version going for roughly $1,250 each.

The 1943 Copper Penny

Sometimes it's the mistakes that make coins valuable. The Lincoln wheat pennies, with our 16th President on the face and two wheat shafts framing the reverse, were minted between 1909 and 1958.  One example of an error is the 1943 copper penny. Roughly 40 of them were mistakenly minted out of copper instead of bronze. The only way to tell is to hold the penny next to a magnet. If it doesn't stick, it's most likely copper. That penny should be authenticated as soon as possible. The American Numismatic Association noted that in 1996, a 1943 copper penny sold for $82,500, making it one of the most sought after coins.

The Bust Quarter

Rather than a euphemism for going broke, in this case the word "bust" refers to a head to mid-chest side portrait of Lady Liberty. The bust quarter was first minted in 1796. It was also the first United States quarter and the only one minted in the 1700s. The next round of bust quarters was minted in 1804, with the series ending in 1938. Throughout its mint run, the bust quarter went through four design changes. In the 1976 run the eagle on the coin's reverse side was smaller than in later years. Beginning in 1815, Lady Liberty also sported a cap. The "capped bust quarters" were then reduced in size beginning in 1831 remaining at 24.3 millimeters until the last run in 1838. These cap bust quarter were roughly the size of modern day quarters. The 1796 version, with a draping over Lady Liberty's shoulder, is the most valuable. Even in rough condition this coin could bring in up to $20,000 because of its rarity. Other rare years include 1804, 1822, and 1823. Of these, an 1823 bust coin in good condition usually brings in the higher price.